English | Intro Writing & Study of Lit 2
L142 | 6791 | Marsh

ENG L142
Intro Writing and Study of Literature 2
Professor: Joss Marsh

Topic: Celebrity

6791     MW    10:10a - 11:00a    WH 120
10826    TR    12:20p - 1:10p     BH 241
6792     TR    1:25p - 2:15p      BH 229
6793     TR    1:25p - 2:15p      BH 137
6794     TR    2:30p - 3:20p      BH 137
6795     MW    4:40p - 5:30p      TBA   Honors students only

Plunging into a diverse body of literary, filmic, artistic, popular,
and theoretical material, this class unravels the history and
dynamics of the celebrity phenomenon: the cult of the face, from
Alexander the Great to "Brangelina"; Shakespeare, propaganda, and
the celebrification of the Tudor dynasty; Hitler, fascism, and
charisma; celebrity death and "cemetery celebrity"; Charles Dickens,
photographic celebrity, and "public intimacy"' fame, paranoia, and
psychic compensation; criminal celebrity and the rise of the mass
media; fall, descent, and the celebrity "scapegoat"' celebrity
politics; celebrity and ethnicity; F. Scott Fitzgerald, the
Hollywood star system, and commodity culture; royal
celebrity/celebrity as royalty; celebrity performance and the
celebrity body; the celebrity vampire; and the religious cult of
Charlie Chaplin.

Other figures will include: jazz great Louis Armstrong; philospher
Jean-Jacques Rousseau; serial killer "Jack the Ripper"; Diana,
the "People's Princess"' and Marilyn Monroe. Texts will include:
Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby; Billy Wilder's classic 1950 film
Sunset Boulevard; Chaplin's The Gold Rush and The Great Dictator,
with his 1922 celebrity memoir, My Wonderful Visit; Leni
Riefenstahl's Nazi "documentary" Triumph of the Will; music by
Armstrong and others; poems by Lord Byron and Oscar Wilde;
Polidori's "The Vampyre" (1819); selections from the Victorian crime
classic Jack Sheppard; and the 2008 best-seller, Me Cheeta, by the
chimpanzee co-star of Tarzan the Ape Man.

Format: Lectures; discussion sections; mandatory evening screenings
(max. 6). Assignments (likely): 2 midterms (focused on close
reading), 2 papers (analytical), and a cumulative final. Some
quizzes. Writing instruction will emphasize: the reading-writing
nexus; critical note-taking; brainstorming, planning, and
development of idea; revision and rewriting.